Your Own Personal Jesus

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His faith: debatably his most defining characteristic, was challenged. Not for the first time, but definitely the most effective challenge thus far. His god had forsaken him. He had died fighting the greatest force of darkness and evil in history; and his reward? He wakes up in a fucking forest being dragged away by giant humanoid rats. Fucking rats! He should have awoken in the kingdom of heaven; instead, here he was.

With a flick of his wrists he summoned long bayonets to his hands and neatly severed the arms of the offending rat people; springing to his feet in the process. "Ye filthy heathens will not live ta see th' dawn." So saying, he flung his blades into his captors' throats before effortlessly dodging the swipe of a crude blade aimed at his head by a foe he had not seen.

Retaliating with a slash above the knees, the holy blades easily sheared through them. Before the vile creature hit the ground, its throat was cut open; leaking its filthy life-blood all over the ground it landed upon.

"Pathetic." He frowned, adjusting his windowpane glasses to catch the light. He was used to enemies more than a thousand times more competent… and powerful in many cases.

"They were low level Skaven; barely pests to even the lowliest of warriors." Instantly his blades were back in his hands; his eyes scouring the forest surrounding him.

"Where are ye? Show yer self." There was no sign of any other presence nearby, but he had hunted creatures of great stealth before. Explosives and fire usually worked wonders.

"I have been with you for 98 years Alex. I was the one who helped you in every battle; who protected you from harm. That damn church blocked you from hearing me for all those years. Their so called "God" was dead for centuries, but his corpse still had the power to block me out. I suppose you could say I'm your own personal God."

"How dare ye slander the Lord with yer heathen tongue! Heretic!" He was still searching for a possible source of the voice that seemed so terribly familiar.

"Truly? If I am a heretic, then why have you been drawing on my power for years now, hmm? I'll prove it to you with a taste of my power. See if you recognize it." With that, holy energy filled him with the strength he was so used to drawing on. Thorns began to writhe within and without him, the fragments of the nail in his heart reacting to the energy. He sank to his knees in revelation as memories of his distant past began to flood back to him.

"A-Atarah? Is that really you?" Tears had begun to flow down his cheeks; his teal eyes wide with hesitant joy.

"When Alucard killed you, it broke their control over you, allowing me to reassert myself. I have grown much stronger over the years; given another decade or two, I may have been able to break you out myself. Although his blood mixing with yours allowed me to greatly empower the both of us."

"Wait, I'm no bloody fuckin' vampire! Ah can still feel th' might o' the Lor- err; you, I guess, flowing through me. Holy power is toxic to creatures o' darkness. Besides, Ah feel no lust fer blood… Well no more than usual anyways." As he said so, he was looking himself over, checking for any signs of vampirism. While looking, he noticed a distinct lack of symbols on his gloves; they had become just plain white gloves. 'Perhaps they allowed the church control. I'll have to draw new symbols.' he thought.

"Of course not! What little of his power I could assimilate gave each of us one new ability. For me it gave the ability to consume the souls of those you slay, or any who die near you. You gained the ability to consume anything and gain new abilities from doing so. It's called consumption absorption. It makes your jaw perhaps your greatest weapon for your teeth can bite through anything and you can eat even magic and fire in unlimited amounts. Poison will have no effect but to empower you further; as will the bodies of your foes. You can even eat weapons, armour, anything. Go ahead, try it out."

A maniacal smile had spread over his face as his glasses reflected non-existent light, appearing to glow. Looking over at one of the skaven, his smile turned to a frown. "Ah bet they taste terrible… and probably carry horrific diseases. Not that Ah've ever been sick."

"Everything will taste good to your new jaws and disease will only strengthen you further. Eat their weapons too." Frowning, he complied, picking up one of the rats and taking a hesitant bite out of it.

"By the corpse o' God, that's fuckin' delicious!" He exclaimed before ravenously devouring the corpses, clothes, weapons, and even some dirt and plants along with it.

"{Bing} INITIALIZING WARLORD SYSTEM… INITIALIZED. DUE TO AN ERROR YOU WERE NOT REGISTERED; WOULD YOU LIKE TO START THE TUTORIAL?"

"What in the blood-soaked-protestant-hell is this?"

"I… I guess this world runs on some sort of game system? Consumption Absorption must have given you access to said system when you ate those skaven… This could be beneficial. Say yes."

"Aye, Ah would like ta start the tutorial."

"ANSWER REGISTERED. BEGINNING TUTORIAL. ERROR, USER NOT REGISTERED. INITIALIZING… PLEASE STATE YOUR NAME."

"Fuckin' 'ell, Alexander Anderson."

"NAME REGISTERED:FUCKIN' 'ELL, ALEXANDER ANDERSON. IS THIS CORRECT?"

"Nae, ya fuckin' idiot!"

"NEGATIVE RESPONSE RECEIVED. PLEASE STATE YOUR NAME."

"{Sigh} Alexander Anderson."

"NAME REGISTERED: ALEXANDER ANDERSON. IS THIS CORRECT?"

"Aye."

"NAME CONFIRMED. PLEASE STATE YOUR AGE."

"103." He was getting quite annoyed at this point.

"PLEASE STATE UNIT OF TIME MEASUREMENT."

"Oh, for fuck sake! I measure it in years!"

"...AGE REGISTERED. BEGINNING TUTORIAL. SAY OR THINK "MENU"."

"Fuckin' finally… Menu."

To his vague surprise a menu the colour of his eyes opened up displaying a rotating 3d image of himself with boxes next to it displaying his equipment and unused slots. Above his image was his name, title(Judas Priest), health(10,000), mana(2,000), race(Monster of God) and level(1). To the right of that was a short description of himself he read with bemusement and below that was a series of empty boxes. On the top were several tabs, though most were greyed out. The current tab was labeled main. The non greyed ones were labeled skills/perks and stats; the greyed ones were unlabeled.

"THIS IS YOUR MENU, TAP WHICHEVER TAB YOU WISH TO PERUSE."

With a shrug he opened up skills/perks. He saw the expected, Godly Regeneration, Infinite Holy Bayonets, Detonate Bayonets, Blasting Sword Chain, Blessing of Atarah, Avatar of Atarah, High Priest of Atarah, Atarah's Chosen, Holy Flames of Atarah, Holy Wards, Holy Teleportation, Holy Shield, Consumption Absorption, and Thorns of Atarah. However, there were a few unexpected perks.

Skaven Language: Knowledge of how to speak the language of the Skaven.

Plague Carrier LvL 1: All poisons effects increased by 30%. Ability to add infectious disease to any weapon temporarily.

Child of The Horned Rat: Ability to add Skaven to faction.

4th Dimensional Aspects Lvl 1: Enables unknown abilities and exceptional potential for growth. Currently, if you have ever held an item you will be able to summon it to your hand in unlimited amounts at an extreme cost. Cost lowers over time until summoning the specific object becomes its own skill.

"I gave you every blessing I possibly could. You're my best and only friend and I vowed to help you however I could."

"Aye, and Ah appreciate that. Seems Consumption Absorption is already working its magic. Though Ah find it interesting that Child of The Horned Rat mentions factions and this whole thing is called the Warlord System."

"THE WARLORD SYSTEM DOES NOT REQUIRE ONE TO CREATE OR JOIN A FACTION. THOUGH FACTION CREATION/MANAGEMENT IS A MAJOR FEATURE."

"I'm unsure, but based on the fact that you praying to me increases my power when my stores are filled it would makes sense that creating worshipers would increase my power. Currently, I can barely affect reality; though I can alter your perception. For instance, I can make your eyes infrared or night vision maybe one in each eye. I can see what you see and everything in a short distance around you."

"Now that sounds like a plan ta me! Make a cult, nae a kingdom ta rival heaven! Ah got eternity to build it!"

" Sounds like a que-"

"QUEST STARTED: KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

USURP THE GODS AND CREATE A KINGDOM GREATER THAN THEY COULD EVER DREAM. THE GODS WILL TRY TO STOP YOU WHEN THEY FIGURE OUT YOUR PLANS. YOU WILL NEED TO KILL, ENSLAVE, OR RECRUIT THEM."

"Bahahahahahahaha! Now that's a quest! Time to start a holy war! A new crusade! Bahahahaha!"

"First we need to get stronger; much stronger. If we're going after the gods and their kingdoms… if we're we're going to conquer the world, we'll need to be strong and charismatic. You can't build a kingdom alone."

He grimaced, glancing around him. His blades were flying before he was even fully cognizant of why. A spike through the back of his chest gave him his answer. Several thorns shot from the wound and skewered the creature before ripping it to pieces. He pulled out the stinger with a grunt; turning to look at what stabbed him as he took a bite out of it. The thorns rapidly stitching him and his clothes back together; it looked like nothing had happened in under a second.

The creature was a large humanoid hornet-like creature. One arm (formerly), ended in a stinger and the other a humanoid hand; its fingers coming to sharp, claw-like points. Its exoskeleton covered most of it, but it appeared to be female. Its digigrade legs ended in clawed three-toed feet and it had insectoid wings on its back. There were two others with bayonets sticking out of their foreheads.

"Looks like Ah got myself a snack." he said, grinning as he picked up one of the pieces of the creature dripping a toxic-green fluid he presumed was its blood.

"SKILL GAINED: BEE'S STING: ABILITY TO ADD A POWERFUL PARALYTIC TO ANY THRUST OR STAB WITH A BLADED WEAPON."

"Next time, try to take at least one of them alive: while you were slaughtering and burning them, I was studying what your enemies were actually doing. I learned of several rituals and spells that could be beneficial to our quest to take over the universe."

He frowned, "Black Magic has a nasty tendency ta rot yer soul. Ah'm not sure we should be meddling with that sorta stuff."

"True, but I think I could purify it or at the very least shield the mind and soul from its more negative effects. Besides, your soul is mine and I will not let some darkness or demons take it… Though it may be best to wait till we're both much, much stronger before attempting some of the more… dangerous rituals."

"{Sigh} Alright, Ah'll learn some magic; do some… rituals." He grimaced, deciding to follow the trail the rats were dragging him along. If he found their village or whatever shit hovels they had, he could slaughter them all; perhaps do one of those blasted rituals.

"Hey, when you reach the skaven village, see if you can take it over. It would be a decent start to your campaign of conquest."

"Really, their fuckin' rat people! Rat people who tried to fuckin' eat me! 'Sides, they were pathetically weak." He frowned deeply at the mere thought of working with literal rats; before glancing up as a drop of water landed on his nose. "It's fuckin' rainin'. Well, don't that put a damper on things."

"Sorry hun, but I don't got nearly enough power to affect the weather yet. You'll just have to deal with it. And yes, they were weak. But with you in charge, they could become strong. You'll just have to train them and yourself."

"Hmmm, Ah suppose that could work… An' Ah did lead an army before, so it won't be entirely new ground. Alright, Ah'll give it a shot… but Ah'm still killin' some o' the bastards. Need to establish dominance, ya see." He grinned at the thought of spilling blood; he wasn't called a catholic sociopath for nothing.

THIRTY MINUTES LATER

Upon reaching the skaven village, he was immediately assaulted by the guards, who he impaled to the crude wall made of wooden stakes. Kicking open the gate, he called out, "Ye filthy heathens shall come tae the light or meet the Lord fer yerselfs... when Ah skewer ye!" as he slid his blades into the shape of a cross.

Said filthy heathens responded by shooting arrows at him; he dodged before they even got close and fired eight blades to perforate the archers. He was already slashing down any with a weapon. "Oi, don't get carried away! We need most of them alive if we're going to take over."

"{Sigh} Aye, Ah'll spare some o' the bastards." Grumbling, he disarmed the nearest skaven warriors, knocking them out with a chop of the back of his blades to the neck. Soon, the motley assortment were rendered unconscious or dead. Summoning up chains with a single small bayonet attached, he wrapped each of the 14 surviving skaven and placed them ten feet apart; the bayonet placed over their hearts. Smirking at his work, he decided to eat the corpses while he waited; leveling Plague Carrier to 3 causing it to increase potency to 60%.

Ten minutes later the Skaven began to awaken. "G'mornin', seems ye found yerselfs in a bit o' bind. See, I, being the generous man Ah am, decided not ta slaughter the lot o' ye. Though Ah will admit that if not for my Lady Atarah, I'd a killed ye all. So now, ye all owe me and me Lady yer lives. A'course ye can always opt out if ye choose."

A large Skaven with a scar over one eye laughed and said, "Well then, I think I'm gonna choose not to be the slave of a cocksucker like you."

"Well then; goodbye." With a snap of his fingers, he detonated the 6 inch bayonet over the one-eyed rat's heart. Pieces of Skaven were scattered all over, many landing on his kin. "Anyone else?" a chorus of desperate nos was his answer. "Then all ye need to do is devote yerselfs to Atarah and do whatever Ah say, got it ya bastards?" This time he received nods and other fervent confirmations. "Now repeat after me: "Oh sweet Lady of the undying light, holy Atarah. I give my soul to thee. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done. Till thy flames consume the unrighteous.""

As the skaven repeated his devotional prayer, he carved crosses into their foreheads. When they finished, he gave a loud "Amen!" and fired bayonets wreathed in holy blue flames into the crosses. They sank in and seemed to disappear into their heads with a ripple. Their screams tapered off slowly as they realized they weren't dead. None of them realized they now had blue rings around their pupils until they looked to each other to see what happened.

"Ye have all become children of Atarah! Bahahahahahaha!" He grinned maniacally, "Now, it's time to start renovating this shithole." So saying, he fired thirteen bayonets into the ground in front of them, allowing the chains to fall off of them.

While they collected their new weapons from the chains and the ground, Atarah spoke up. "You're pretty good at this whole Cult Leader thing."

"Aye, bein' a priest 'ill do that ta ye. Makin' people believe the word o' God is an art. A course magic helps." He laughed, watching his new flock try out their new blades, swinging them about or clashing in mock spars. He chuckled as one accidentally cut through a hide tent. By the look on their face, he guessed it was theirs. "Don't ye worry, we'll be gettin' all of ye better accommodations soon." he called out to them. "Speaking of; time for ye to put those blades to use. Three of ye are goin' huntin'; the rest will be ''''''''cuttin' down trees and bringin' 'em 'ere fer processing. Yer blades 'ill make it easier fer sure, but don't ye go cuttin' down somethin' ye can't drag back. Ye got it?" They nod. "Then get to it!" he barked.

He grinned, watching them scurry off to do as he commanded. "How many do ye think 'ill try an' make a run for it?"

"It matters little; their souls are mine. I can see through them as I can you. There is no escape."

"Hmph. I'll make the moron who runs first regret it."

"Leave it to me. I feel I should prove my existence to our followers. Though, don't forget your own importance. I'm their god, you're their leader. You need them to build your armies and my cult; without either, we shall surely fail."

He frowned, "Aye, I understand; but are ye sure ye should be exerting yerself so soon?"

"It will take less than an hour of your servants praying to more than restore my power… earlier you said holy energy was toxic to creatures of darkness. That's not entirely accurate; a God can choose who their power helps and hurts. You were a monster hunter who primarily fought vampires; which are creatures of darkness. Therefore, I made my power inimical to them. If I so chose, my light could heal the wicked just as easily as the pure."

"So, that opens the doors ta recruiting rather dark creatures… Ah wonder if anyone else from our world awoke here. That wire-wielding dickwafflle would be a wonderful addition to our forces; someone who can build us some fuckin' guns would not go amiss. Perhaps even that monstrous heathen Alucard could be of use if we can bind him like the Hellsings did. Though we'll either need to melt down some bayonets or get the infrastructure required for mining if we're ta have guns. An' Ah would love ta see some o' my underlings again." He turned at the sounds of screams and a loud crash. "Seems the imbeciles managed to fuck up a simple logging job. {Sigh} Why am I not surprised. Guess it's time to go knock some heads together." Trudging towards the source of the noise, he grumbled irritably about incompetence and idiocy, "Told the fuckers not ta cut what they couldn't fuckin' carry…idiots."

He knew he was at the right place when he saw a fallen tree splattered with the blood and bits of one of his 'men' and the other twelve congregating around it, speaking hurriedly to one-another in their native tongue. "Alright, what's this then? Did ye fuckers really manage ta kill one o' yerselfs already? Well, least Ah won't have ta kill one o' ye fuckers fer runnin' on me." A lightning bolt crashed down behind and to the left of him, striking a thin skaven who had drawn back her blade to stab Alexander in the back. "Seems Ah may have spoke too soon. Good ta know Atarah has my back." He had known what the foolish rat was attempting but decided to let Atarah prove her existence as they had discussed. He whirled on the smoking husk of a skaven rat; delivering a swift kick to check if she still lived. The groan rent from her burnt lips testified to her survival. Frowning, he raised a bayonet to rectify this error.

"Wait!"

"What? Why should Ah not kill the treacherous scum?"

"She has already been punished; killing her now would be nothing more than a frivolous waste of resources. You need her to help breed you more soldiers. Besides, killing everyone is not a good way to inspire loyalty; or keep what troops you have."

"{Sigh} Alright." So saying, he brought his blade swiftly down; right onto her tail, neatly severing the hairless, worm-like appendage. "Treason will o' course be punished harshly… But Atarah has ordained that she shall live. Her penitence shall be serving our Lady and I unto death on her back, breeding new generations of soldiers. Have fun lads... and drag that damn tree back ta base ye dumb fucks!" The former Paladin didn't even notice as the morals he had once held so dear drained so rapidly away from him as he walked swiftly back to the future site of his first city. "That will certainly win me some friends among them."

"And possibly some enemies. Though considering what little we've seen of our new disciples' natures they may be perfectly fine with it. Speaking of disciples; perhaps you should try to deify yourself. It will take awhile, but if you declare yourself my… husband you could gain enough of a following to eventually ascend. And by that time I'll almost certainly be strong enough to 'take you under my wing' as it were, and give you another body. I'll probably be able make it look pretty much exactly like you already do and you'll definitely retain all of your current abilities; probably gain some new ones two. Though by being taken under my wing you'll be more of an extremely powerful angel or demon, rather than a true god."

"Husband? Is that a proposal I hear?" He grinned cheekily, he could feel the blush on her metaphysical face.

"Maybe… Do you accept?"

"Bahahahahahaha! O' course I fuckin' do! Yer the only real friend I've ever had; if ye wanna take it further, then o' course I'm down for it. Though, ye don't have an actual body, so how are we gonna actually… exchange rings. And fuck, o' course. I 'spose I could forge ye a ring from one o' my blades… but ye still have no finger for me to place it on." As he said the final words, he passed through the gates of the crude village he had taken over. He saw nothing amiss, until an arrow pierced his skull through both sides; snapping his head back. He dropped to the ground, appearing for all the world to be dead.

When the intrepid raiders approached his body (presumably to loot and defile it), he began to laugh. Quietly at first, before devolving into outright maniacal howls of laughter. "Now Ah see why the vampire does it! Bahahahahahahaha! Lettin' ye foolish infidels think ye have even the slightest chance o' victory; only tae pull the bloody rug out from under ye is fuckin' high-fuckin'-larious!" So saying, he leapt into the air; drawing his bayonets and sending them sailing into the bandits' black hearts with a flick of his wrists.

"Well, that was fuckin' rude of ye." he said, walking slowly towards their corpses. He raised an eyebrow at seeing one of them was still moving, trying to stand. "Seems, Ah missed a spot." Standing over the tattooed body of the raider, he wondered if he could use her. "Ah wonder if skaven can breed with humans." Regardless she would be enslaved or killed; her fellows would make for extra meat for his budding army… and himself, he thought with an evil grin.

"Well, that was a thing." She said hesitantly whilst Alexander took a bite out of one of the corpses. "Now, back to our discussion. I can magic you up a ring given enough sacrifices. As for giving you a finger to put your ring on… eventually I'll be strong enough to create of physical form; but for now if you make one, I can take it to my plane of existence during the ritual to create your ring." He heard a gasp and looked towards the source to find one of his skaven staring at him in shock.

"You… eat like a true skaven. Arn'tcha human?" The creature appeared to be young, perhaps a child amongst their kind. The withering remains of his swiftly blackening heart twinged with memories of the orphanage he ran.

"What's yer name child?" He could not resist asking, his rapidly decaying conscious demanded it.

"S-Skrecay, Skrecay Shadowknife milord. Hey, I'm no child!" The little ratling seemed mighty indignant.

"Ye are in my eyes, laddy. But regardless; nae, I'm not human. Not anymore, anyway." For a moment, what seemed like regret flashed in his eyes as he stared at the full moon hanging in the sky. A chill wind blew by, ruffling his short blond hair and the dark brown fur of the young skaven. With a neutral expression on his face, he adjusted his glass, causing them to flash dangerously in the pale moon's light. When his glasses were no longer opaque, his eyes were of teal steel once more. "But that's a story for another day, my young friend. Perhaps one day you'll learn the whole story; if ya survive long enough, that is." He had a wry grin on his face, though it seemed slightly less wide then his usual affair.

"You alright?"

"Reliving my darkest hour and greatest failure is… not the most pleasant experience."

"I was there Alex; I know how horrible that was, what you went through. What you did; you did to survive; to avenge the fallen."

"{Sigh} I don't hate him. Not truly. Not anymore. Maybe it's being in this new land or maybe it's something else entirely, but my hatred seems to have cooled."

Their heart to heart was rather abruptly cut short by the interruption of a seemingly forgotten source. "{Chzzzt} SYSTEM HAS SUFFERED A CRITICAL ERROR! QUEST FUNCTION IS MALFUNCTIONING AND CAN NO LONGER PROCESS NEW QUESTS. THIS ERROR USUALLY RESOLVES ITSELF UPON COMPLETION OF CURRENT QUEST. WE APOLOGISE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE AND WILL SEEK TO RECTIFY THIS ERROR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. TO COMPENSATE YOU FOR THIS ISSUE YOU SHALL BE AWARDED A SPECIAL GIFT. USE IT WISELY…"

"Well, that was real fuckin' quick. Let's see what the bastards gave me, shall we?" So saying, he opened up his menu, took a look at his inventory, and gasped. There, sitting innocuously among rows of empty boxes, was an ancient looking book whose cover was seemingly made from some long dead unfortunate's face. This large tomb was simply labeled Necronomicon(original).

"Did we just get the fuckin' Holy Grail of black, nae any magic from a fuckin' mistake… Bahahahahahahahahahaha! Ah can't fuckin' believe it. The power that can be gained from this one book is simply astronomical. Bahahahahahahahaha!"

"Okay, keep it together Alex. This is wonderful, but we cannot let anyone know we have this."

"Aye, yer right o' course. We will have to study this in secret. Though, on the subject o' books; perhaps we should start writing our own bible soon." He thought to her as he turned to watch Skrecay scramble to assist his fellow skaven with dragging the large tree (which they had apparently crucified the traitor upon) into the base. "Alright, take the tree into the center and the whore into a tent. Tie 'er down and have fun, but leave 'er alive; if she struggles, cut off an arm or a leg." He gestured towards the still living bandit with a blade, "Take this little harlot in with 'er, treat her the same." he said as he summoned a blade half again the size of his average. He inspected the blade for a moment before tossing it in the air, to land and embed itself deep in the trunk of the fallen tree. "The strongest of ye can take that blade. Use it ta slice that tree in ta poles about six feet long and a half foot thick." He raised his left arm and fired dozens of mini blades the size of those he threatened them with. "Skrecay, take these and go outside the base to find a clearing at least ten feet wide. Plant one of them in the center and stomp it down until ye can barely see the tip, then run outside the clearing, take cover, and say 'Amen'. Repeat the process 'till ye run outta blades." He turned with a flourish, coattails billowing behind him as he walked away. "Fucker's probably gonna blow 'imself up before 'e's 'alfway done."

"Perhaps. Only time will tell if any of this lot will survive to see our empire rise. They may be famous one day, or their bodies will rot on a long forgotten battlefield years from now. Regardless, we should only let those with useful traits or those who have been particularly useful breed; the rest can rot."

He laughed, "Bahahahahahahahahahahaha! We're going in ta eugenics now are we? Regardless, It's a good idea. Reward faithful service and accomplishment with whores. Though we'll have to wait till our numbers are higher before we can start to be more selective with who does and does not breed; we need all the soldiers we can get for now."

"Sir!" A rather more soldier-like voice than he was used to barked from behind him. He turned to see large, heavily scarred skaven standing at attention, carrying the large blade he had produced earlier. Raising an eyebrow, he motioned for him to continue. "Where should we place the completed poles, sir?"

"{Sigh} The fuck do Ah care? Just stack 'em nearby. We'll need 'em pretty soon, so don't fuckin' lose any of 'em." Frowning, he looked the skaven up and down. "What's yer name, lad?"

"Hiad Rotblade, sir." The burly Skaven replied, somehow standing even straighter. "Ex-conscript of the Under Empire. Actually, all of us are escaped slaves, sir."

"Slaves were ye? Hmmm, are ye the only one with a military background?" This skaven could be particularly useful if he had half the experience those scars suggested. Though the fact that they were runaways meant he might as well have already declared the Under Empire an enemy. Not that he had any intention of allying with them anyway; taking them out first just gives him a direct semi-short term goal.

"The only one left anyway, sir. The rest were labourers, and pleasure-slaves." Hmmm…

"So, ye know how their military works, eh?" This could help him significantly in the future war effort.

"A tide of flesh is fairly accurate, sir. They throw endless waves of infantry at you, mostly slaves, though not all of them. Low ranking Verminlords may be mixed in amongst them. If you're particularly unlucky, high ranking Verminlords may be leading the 'army'. While the infantry charges the archers and gunmen will be firing randomly at you, they don't care if they hit you or their 'allies'. I imagine it would look rather terrifying from the other side… 'cause it was horrifying from my perspective."

"So, they have basically no actual tactics, but have plenty of people to throw at you. If we set up barricades, murder-holes, and- did you say "GUNmen"?!" It had taken a second for that statement to really sink in.

"Yes sir, using powdered warpstones in hollowed pipes of wood or metal, they send metal balls flying at high speeds toward enemies. Depending on the size of the the barrel, and therefore the ammunition, it can cause devastating damage. Sometimes they use them in flamers to empower them; warpfire does more then just burn. "

He sighed, "Just primitive muskets and cannons apparently. Though these 'warpstones' sound interesting." Looking back at the ratman, he asked "Warpstones?" with a raised eyebrow.

"Pure, solidified Chaos. Emerald green glowing crystals of energy, very dangerous to have extended contact with. Some claim they can alter fate and luck; changing 'what was to be' into 'what might have been'. When used in weapons, it causes them to act as if they were coated in a potent poison."

"Where are these 'warpstones' found?" Even if gunpowder turned out to still be the better, safer option, warpstones could be useful for many other things.

"Some come in meteors and some are found growing in caves; honestly they can be found just about anywhere if you look hard enough. Though they are rather rare on the surface and certain environments, it would be highly unlikely to find any around here; at least not on the surface."

"So it's definitely a mineral, and it sounds like it's exceptionally radioactive if it's actively glowing."

He frowned, considering the implications of this information. A crystal that has some kind of poisonous magical power. This could have incredible potential; both in weapons and as an energy source. "Ah suppose the Under Empire has a fuck ton o' these stones?"

"They grow them in farms, sir. They most certainly have an overabundance of warpstones." That's not good. The enemy outnumbers and out guns him and his thousands(if not millions) to one.

"So… know anything about stealth and guerilla warfare?" This was his only potential strategy against such an overwhelming force. He had zero practical experience using guerilla tactics to kill large groups of enemies; he was more used to an opening salvo and a rush to finish the survivors, or toy with them if he so chose. Though he did have knowledge of the basic principles.

"Only in regards to escaping from slavery; broke and burned some shit on our way out though."

He frowned, it was possible that their meager practical knowledge could be enhanced by the knowledge and training he never used. He reached into his coat and pulled out a thin book labeled 'Advanced Recon and Sabotage: Section XIII: Iscariot'. Looking over the book he thought "Must be 4th Dimensional Aspectsat work, 'cause I know Ah didn't have this on me when Ah went ta slay that heathen bastard." Frowning, he tossed the book to Hiad. "Can ye read English?" It would make things much more complicated if he couldn't.

"English, sir? What exactly is that?" Well, that's not good.

"Seems now's as good a time as any ta learn it, laddy." He grimaced: now he'd have to dedicate a significant portion of his time to teaching his men the english language. Muttering expletives in Latin, he thought about what to do here and now.

"I would have to agree, my mother really was a whore." He startled, looking wide eyed at the skaven.

"Ye speak fuckin' Latin?" That's certainly surprising.

"I know a bit of High Gothic, if that's what you mean. You have to know the language of your enemy even if you're a slave. I'm almost fluent in Low Gothic as well."

"High Gothic…" He muttered reaching back into his coat and pulling out an identical book, only this time the cover was written in what he knew as Latin. "Here, this is written in High Gothic. It's a guide to guerrilla warfare and recon." He walked away as Hiad began to read through the thin paperback. An explosion went off in the distance, followed quickly by a scream. "Ah fuckin' knew it." He grumbled, shifting his trajectory towards the source of the noise.

TWO WEEKS LATER

Luckily, skaven breed rather quickly and mature even quicker. Their numbers had nearly doubled as the six skaven litters pumped out once a week became capable of moderate labour by the end of the next. The new, currently nameless skaven, were working in the mine/underground base Skrecay had lost his left arm to make. The logging operation had resulted in a significant improval in housing conditions and had given him a base to plan out operations; luckily he had no need for sleep and thus had no need to waste space on a bedroom in the main building of his burgeoning fort. The walls had been reinforced and spikes and been placed in front of the entrances and around the mine. He had been training his forces in his off time and they had managed to repel what few invaders he had not noticed. There had been no significant attacks by outside forces since the first raid; only minor incursions by groups of three or four idiots. Like the ones he had just dismembered.

"Are ye fools regretin' your life choices yet?" He said with a grin. "You'll not be livin' real long even if ye survive yer wounds. My men an' I'll be feastin' on yer corpses before day's end." He laughed, only to be rudely interrupted by a blast of blue light striking him in the chest. "Gah, damnit! That fuckin' stung." He looked around, seeking who or what ever was foolish enough to directly assault him with a spell that couldn't even pierce his flesh. To his immense surprise, a team of four robots wielding odd looking guns came out of the dense forest around him, being lead by what appeared to be a human wielding a somewhat advanced(compared to his time anyways) rifle and wearing a black overcoat with odd details making it look like some sort of combat outfit designed by someone who had never actually experienced combat first hand.

"Surrender or die." The strangely dressed apparent leader of the group announced emotionlessly. Alexander responded by planting a sword in his head.

Before the man had even hit the ground, he was on the other four; slicing one diagonally in half and stabbing another through the chest. He didn't notice that the stabbed one wasn't dead until it shot him in the back whilst he was dicing it's companions. Turning, he saw the android attempt to pull the blade imbedded in its chest. Rushing forth he severed it's left arm and aimed a slash to decapitate the mechanical being. The creature somehow managed to barely dodge (losing only a small portion of its head(revealing some of its sparking inner workings) instead of all of it) and slammed its remaining arm into his forehead, knocking him back a step. Regaining his balance from the surprise, he saw a blue light engulf the remaining droid. Before it could escape via what he assumed was teleportation he began a delayed detonation of the blade still in it's chest.

"Hmph, whoever's receiving that fucker is in for a nasty surprise." He grinned as he turned back to the 'surviving' bandits, grabbing one of the droids' arms and taking a bite out of it in the process.

UNKNOWN LOCATION

She glanced up at the sound of an emergency teleportation; watching as her fellow scientists and technicians rushed towards a severely damaged Gen 1 synth. She wondered what could have possibly happened to cause such damage to the new model of Gen 1. She frowned and went back to her paperwork, before gasping in shocked horror as an explosion went off. Franticly looking for the source, she saw the teleportation hub was on fire and her coworkers were screaming; several were missing limbs or outright blown to pieces. Many were burning and the screams were wretched, for no one was left unscathed. Blood and body parts were scattered everywhere and she saw her husband running around; left arm just gone and body engulfed in flames. He pressed himself to the glass and she got a close up view as his right eyeball popped and his flesh sloughed off. In the ensuing panic, no one noticed as two gunshots sounded out; one for him… and one for her.

WITH ALEXANDER

The droids had given him little; save for increased accuracy with energy weapons and slightly harder bones. The man on the other hand, while providing little in the way of skills (merely increased accuracy with conventional firearms and advanced tracking), had provided him with the knowledge of who these foes were. On the back of the man's jacket was a symbol resembling a modified version of Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man and the word The Institute written below it.

"The Institute, eh? Seems we have a new enemy on our hands." He frowned for what seemed to be the millionth time since he arrived in this new land, he could ill afford to be involved in a three way war this early on; especially when he knows almost nothing about this new faction that had instigated hostilities with him (not that he wouldn't have attempted to conquer them in the future). He turned to the skaven that was rapidly becoming his right hand, "Hiad, have ye ever heard of this 'Institute' before?"

"Briefly. All I know is that they came out of nowhere about six years ago and have been kidnapping people ever since. No one knows where they came from, what their goals are, where they are, or whether they created their advanced equipment or stole it from another unknown. Apparently they have replaced people with biomechanical facsimiles of them called 'synths'; though they only seem to do this to humans as far as I'm aware. These synths come in three varieties: The clearly robotic ones you fought earlier are called Gen 1, a more advanced model covered in synthetic skin that look a bit more human and are somewhat stronger are called Gen 2s, and the most advanced are virtually identical to humans… or, I suppose whatever species they attempt to mimic. Supposedly they can perfectly replicate anyone, Sir." Well, that's not paranoia inducing at all.

"Hmmm, so they have advanced technology, an unknown location for their base or bases, and the ability to endlessly create more throw away soldiers and infiltrators… lovely. Hopefully my little 'gift' will distract them for awhile. If we're lucky, they won't know where we are for a while. Though, at this point i'm unsure whether an enemy we can't find is an easier fight than an enemy that outnumbers us a billion to one. {Sigh} Regardless, we must prepare for both and every other foe we shall face in the future." He frowned once again, steepling his fingers in deep thought. "We simply don't have the numbers ta even begin to combat the Under Empire and we don't know the numbers of the Institute… but all it would take ta find out is to get one infiltrator ta grab one o' the bastards as they teleport away. I'll have to handle this personally, being the strongest and hardest ta kill among us. While I'm gone you'll be in charge until I get back. Act like everything's normal and nobody'll panic."

Hiad frowned, considering. He was always considered off amongst skaven, as he had the unusual trait of loyalty. So much so that he had taken extreme convincing to betray his former master and escape; only when he was whipped for the third time that week for absolutely no reason did he even consider it. Even disregarding that, leadership just wasn't in his nature. He was a follower who had been pressed into a leading role while on the run with his fellow escapees, but he was adaptable and had learned how to act like a leader. The thought of betraying his new master never even entered his mind as he sat there thinking. "Sir, are you sure it's wise to leave the base like that? You'll be gone for an indeterminate period of time, during which any number of things could potentially go wrong." The thought that his new master might fail never even occurred to him. Looking into the confident, smiling face of his master, his fears began to melt away.

"Bahahahahahahahaha! That's what I've been trainin' ye for! If ye can't even handle a few wee problems, then how are ye ever going ta survive the coming wars? This may be the first, but it certainly won't be the last!"

TWO DAYS LATER

Why, oh fucking why, did he ever believe that bastard when he said everything would be fine. Everything was most definitely not fine; everything was on fucking fire! Minutes after the fucker left to infiltrate the institute, they were besieged by hundreds(if not thousands) of skaven loyal to the Under Empire; they had flooded out of the mines and by the time Skrecay had detonated the bayonets planted to seal off the mine in an emergency, it was far too late. He figured they had tunneled through the blockage by now anyways. Enemy, archers and gun men had claimed three lives before anyone knew what was happening. The only thing that had kept them alive was the reinforced walls and the stock pile of hundreds of mini-bayonets used as grenades; Skrecay's aim had proved invaluable, as had the blue flames that spread from every bayonet he personally threw… even when they spread to the fort. Now, the whole fort was engulfed in blue and green dancing flames; one of Chaos and the other Atarah. The wall had been breached hours ago and enemies were pouring rapidly in. If Alexander didn't get back soon they were all dead.

He growled, pulling his sword out of yet another deranged skaven's chest; the large blades never dulling edge having saved his life repeatedly. "Damn it Alexander, where the fuck are you!" Muttering a prayer to Atarah, he charged the enemy fully prepared to sell his live dearly. Just then a massive series of explosions briefly turned night into day.

"Ah see ye fuckin' heathens thought it was a good idea ta fuck with mah kingdom, did ye? Well, allow me ta educate ye on the foolishness of yer decisions." So saying, he leapt into battle; slaying dozens with every breath. The tides had very suddenly turned.

FIVE HOURS AGO: WITH ALEXANDER

He grinned as the Gen 2 synth attempted to teleport to safety. Before the droid could escape, he speared it through the chest with a serrated bayonet attached to a chain coming from his sleeve. He retracted the chain, drawing the droid to him and grabbing it by its metallic throat. He laughed as his vision was overtaken by blue light and his ears were flooded with static.

As soon as his feet touched solid ground he was moving; having already torn the android's head clean off. As his vision cleared he saw that he made the right decision, as the robot's remains were vaporised in a blast of blue light from the ceiling. He frowned looking around, before he noticed a mirror on the wall and his grin was restored. Laughing as pages from his new bible(which he had yet to name) fluttered around him, obscuring him from vision. He reappeared on the other side of the mirror; blades crossed in an X behind his observer's neck. He grinned, "Say your prayers wee lass!" Fortunately, unlike the last time he was in this position, he successfully decapitated the terrified young woman with a scissor-like slash of his blades.

He looked around, not seeing anything of interest, and wandered out into the facility. He was immediately under fire from a number of Gen 1s and 2s. A storm of blue lasers impacted the ground he was standing on moments ago: the sources soon had bayonets jutting from them. The androids fell like wheat before a scythe, as he moved through the strangely sterile white labs. He saw a variety of different research as moved from lab to lab, killing or incapacitating everyone he came across.

"This place is incredibly advanced! Think of what we could do with all this research; not to mention a base no one can fucking find! Seriously, according to this terminal, we're currently on one of… Mallus' moons that they partially hollowed out."

"Which is why we need some of these scientists alive to continue their research. Neither of us, nor any of our followers have the knowledge, nor the inclination, to continue their work. We need them; so try to keep most of them alive."

He frowned, knocking out and chaining up another scientist. He knew she was right, but was concerned with the difficulty of taking and maintaining control of a large, well-organised group of intellectuals. He would need to keep a constant eye on them; perhaps for a full generation or two. Though he would definitely keep some loyal skaven here at all times; even if he for some reason decided not to make this his home base.

He fought through seemingly endless hordes of synthetics until he finally came upon what seemed to be a main hub. As he cut through the heavy blast doors, blades alight, he heard a cultured voice over what he presumed was a loudspeaker. "Impressive that you've managed to get this far, let alone that you even got here at all. But, unfortunately for you, this is where your journey will come to its inevitable end. Heavy Eradicators, kill him." The smarmy fuck was far too confident in victory. He laughed, until his head and most of his upper body disappeared in several flashes of green light. He fell forward splattering his liquified innards and superheated blood all over the blast door his burning blade was still imbedded in. The douchebag's voice sounded again, "As I thought, just another arrogant fool with very little skill to back it up. Because he's better than the light infantry synths he thinks he can take us all… What's happening!?" The voice suddenly sounded extremely panicked as thorny vines sprouted out of his melted torso and began to whip about as they reformed his upper body. He stood up and began to laugh as the thorns took the shape of his arms.

"Bahahahahahahahaha! Did ye little fuckstick really think ye had half a fuckin' chance!" he bellowed as he sent several vines whipping towards the 8ft armoured behemoths behind him, splitting them in twain. Six died in his first attack whilst the remaining three began to spin up their plasma miniguns and fan out around him. He dodged as the glowing green blobs of condensed plasma splattered and partially melted the floor where he had just stood. His head and neck was still made of thorns as he leapt towards the Eradicator on his left, blades in hand… and several vines. He ripped the hapless murder-bot to pieces with his blades and thorns before leaping at the next. He was rather justifiably pissed at being partially vaporised; being vaporised fucking hurts, damnit! As the last Eradicator was torn to bloody shreds, he turned his single hate-filled eye upon the blast door whilst the other finished regenerating. "I'm going to hurt you, really, really bad." he declared lowly.

The loudspeaker crackled to life once more, "N-now wait a moment! Let's be reasonable here! I-I'm sure we can work this out! No n-need for violence now!" He completely ignored him as he turned his hand to several thorns and ignited them before sending them flying at the door, easily shearing through it. He kicked the flaming, partially melted remains of the door into the large room. And received a bullet to the head (completely obliterating it) before he took two steps through the flaming doorway.

"Are you fucking kidding me? Did ye really think that would work? After witnessing me regenerate my entire upper body? Yer a fucktard."

'It was worth a shot," {BANG} "and another." Responded the suddenly much calmer voice from before as he shot Alexander in the heart, destroying much of his chest. The voice belonged to a white haired old-looking man dressed in a white suit with small, rectangular half glasses placed in front of his piercing green eyes. He was sitting on a large white swivel chair in the center of the monitor covered room that resembled a throne just a little too much. He was holding a large, silver pistol engraved with the words In fines iustificare possit media In flowing, golden cursive text along the side.

"No, no it wasn't." Alexander deadpanned back, decapitating the guards that had futily rushed to defend their boss. "Now, yer going to die and your lackeys will either prove to me they can be of value, or they'll swiftly join ye." So saying, he leapt forward and sent a slash aiming for the man's neck; attempting to take it from his shoulders. Attempted being the operative word, as the man had moved extremely quickly and managed to completely dodge the attack, putting four rounds into Alexander's side as he moved. Alexander turned to look at the man as the top of the chair clattered to the floor and his horribly maimed torso regenerated. The unnamed apparent leader of the institute had drawn a second, near identical pistol into his other hand. The only difference this pistol had from the other was the engraving; this one read Nulla materia sumptus in the same text as the other. He frowned as he realised he was regenerating slower than usual.

"That would be the toxic nanites constantly damaging your cells. You're not the first regenerator we've encountered; though you do regenerate markedly quicker than the rest…" He dodged a slash and put three more rounds into Alexander. "And the nanites don't appear to be nearly as effective as normal." This time a shallow cut crossed his face diagonally, revealing that his insides were a silver colour; only to heal completely moments later. "No matter, I'll simply have to put an exceptional amount in you. {Sigh} I would love to study you but your type of regenerator is notoriously difficult to render unconscious…" He received a deep cut along the left arm, staining his suit silver before both he and the suit fixed themselves; even the blood was rapidly purged from the unknown fabric material of the suit. "And full shapeshifters are quite difficult to restrain." Throughout the brief exchange, the man's expression had remained blank, his voice had remained steady and emotionless.

Alexander growled, slashing wildly at the man and receiving more and more bullets to the torso. He cried out as his left leg was blown off at the knee mid-stride. Gritting his teeth, he flipped back into the air landing on one leg as thorns sprouted from the other, taking the rough shape of a leg. He grimaced, deciding to merely dodge whilst he thought of what to do.

"This fucker reminds me of Alucard if he had Walter's disposition. If we can't get a solid hit on the fucker we won't know if we can even do permanent damage to him. His regeneration seems to be a more advanced version of the enhancement the Vatican gave you. What weakness did that have?"

"Highly corrosive materials… and fire." Laughing, he ignited his blade, activated Plague Bearer for good measure, and leapt forward, carving a deep gash across the man's chest.

"Gah!" The man coughed, silver blood spraying from his pale lips. "What was that! Your blade… that disease! How the hell did you get your hands on it!" For the first time since they met, the man seemed to be truly concerned.

"Bahahahaha! Wouldn't ye like ta know!" He dodged a barrage of bullets that blasted holes the size of his head into the wall (and scientists) behind him and slashed at the man once again, catching him on the wrist, nearly severing his right hand. Somehow the man managed to maintain his grasp on his gun as he jumped back, hand dangling from his wrist. Alexander noticed the man's wounds seemed to be healing much, much slower than before. "The name's Alexander, heretic. And you are?" He wanted to know the name of the first significant threat he had faced thus far.

The man gave a strange smile, his glasses flashing sinisterly in the light. "Hmmm, Sapientem. My name is Malum Sapientem." So saying, he fired three rounds at Alexander, two being dodged and the other blowing off his right arm. Alexander leapt forward, slashing with his remaining arm. He grinned and released the blade when Malum dodged by jumping backwards. Malum gasped when the blade pierced his gut sideways, the remains of his right hand flying towards the blade. "Fuck… Remember me Alexander, for we shall meet again." As he said as wisps of blue light began to flow around him.

"Yer not gettin' away so easily, heathen!" He activated the detonation sequence for the blade in Malum's gut as he shouted this, blood-tinged spittle flying from his mouth. Malum merely aimed his gun at the blade, blasting the handle clean off and batting it away with his gun to detonate on the other side of the room, killing or heavily maiming the (probably high ranking) gaggle of scientists and technicians that had huddled over there in an attempt to be as far from the battle as possible.

He smiled faintly and said, "Until we meet again, Alexander, for this is not yet over. Not even close..." He vanished as the last word left his mouth; words which seemed to echo in the ensuing silence. Alexander simply stood there for a moment, silent as his wounds slowly healed and his strange biology(assisted by Atarah's frantic aid) slowly purged the nanites from his system.

"Motherfucker! He got a fucking way! Where did he even fucking go! Graaaahh!" He slammed his fist into the man's steel desk, cracking it in half in his fury.

"Calm down, Alex. You'll get him next time. For now you need to clear the rest of this base and find a way to teleport back and forth between here and the planet below. I have a bad feeling that something's going on back at the base. We can figure out what all this shit does later after we start moving our subjects here and finish establishing dominance over the remaining scientists."

"{Sigh} Alright." Turning towards the door he went to do just that. Half an hour later he arrived back home to find everything was engulfed in blue and green flames. "{Sigh} I should have fucking known."

THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY: DEEP UNDERGROUND

A single crimson eye opened up in the all-consuming darkness, which seemed to grow impossibly darker around the slit-pupiled eye. Dark and sinister laughter rang out as more and more eyes opened up all around. White gloved hands appeared around the original eye, forming a box around it between the thumbs and forefingers. "This is going to be so much fun…" All across the world, anyone sensitive to magical energy shuddered in horror but knew not why; only knowing that an intense wave of darkness rolled over the world. Many committed suicide; not being capable of handling the sudden feeling of impending doom. Many others fainted or suffered heart attacks or strokes. In the sinister shadows, the laughter intensified and a shark-toothed smile appeared, shining in non-existent light. "Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! I am positively throbbing over this..."